Welcome everyone, including Pokemon fans, to our next review! Today we will be covering the anime Pokemon Origins. There is a lot of nostalgia here, as I was and still am a pretty big Pokemon fan. However, the review shall remain as objective as possible. Beware of minor SPOILERS!
Now without further ado, let us begin the review.
Summary: Serving a more faithful adaptation of the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green games (Pokémon Red and Blue in the U.S.), the story follows a young boy named Red, and his rival Green (Blue in the U.S.), who begins a journey with their new Pokémon partners, as they seek to capture all the known Pokémon in the Kanto region. -MyAnimeList
Pokemon Origins tells much of the original story of Pokemon Red/Blue/Green, with some added in material. It is also a more mature telling than the ongoing Pokemon anime that features Ash Ketchum. However, the story jumps around quite a bit, not going into much detail with many of the events, and instead covering it with narration. Additionally, this can make the story confusing to some, especially if they have little familiarity with the games. The stories over reliance on viewers having the context of Pokemon weakens the impact of the story.
Characters in Pokemon Origins are generally pretty static. This includes the main protagonist, Red, who really only shows any personality development and growth within the first episode. Other characters that undergo development have it happen very quickly, so it does not add much. However, this is not overly surprising, as it reflects the nature of the video game, where the player learns at the beginning mostly and then spends the rest of the game just improving their skill at battling.
The animation for this show is very clean and sharp, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It really improved the experience of watching, especially when seeing some of your favorite first generation Pokemon with modern/better animation quality.
The soundtrack is primarily remastering the original games’ soundtrack, and is pretty faithful to it. This evokes a lot of the old emotions from playing the old games. They even include the famous Lavender Town track. However, the series lacks an opening and closing, which helps it in giving it more time to air the actual show, but also taking away from some of the musical variety.
The show has no real extensive themes, beyond basics like friendship and believing in yourself. Pokemon Origins really strives for two things, and succeeds in both. First is to tie the newer games back to the original games, which it does by including new elements such as Mega Evolution. The other is to provide a nostalgic experience for older fans of the series, something it pulls off very well.
Final Score: 8.2/10
Final Grade: B
Pokemon: The Origin was an interesting short anime series. It was a more faithful adaptation of the original Pokemon games. The characters and plot are not well developed, if you have no background of the games that they are based on. This is mostly because it is four episodes and they had to skip a lot of stuff or just mention it in passing to make it all fit. With that said if you are a fan of the games you will love this. It has many references to the games and is just all around interesting. The ending is not quite the same as the games to promote the sixth generation that was coming out at that time, but be sides the ending it is just a blast from the past. Out of 10 I would give this anime a 7. I would recommend it to anyone who has played the original games. – B-Ro
Pokémon Origins is a mini series that does exactly what it was set out to do: To be an homage to the original Red and Green games, with a few new things sprinkled in. Now, I really enjoy Pokémon. I remember watching the original series as a kid, as well as playing the first few generations of games and loving all of it. I can’t say I’m a superfan though, and I haven’t played Red or Green in a long time. Despite that, my nostalgia instantly kicked in the minute episode 1 started. I really like the feel of the show. Rather than following the cheesiness of the original series (so many puns…) it follows the tone of the original games as closely as possible. The story is just about the same as well, with Red being the protagonist and Blue being the rival. Since it’s just 4 episodes, they jump around a lot plot-wise, glossing over big events. I’m okay with it since this is a supplement to the games, but at the same time you can’t connect with Red as much, or feel the progress he has made on his journey. He pretty much goes from beginner to decent to pretty good to master just like that. There’s no real Op or Ed, which also bums me out, but it’s not too big of a deal since it’s a miniseries. The soundtrack is made up of updated versions of the original game tracks, which really got my nostalgia going. I wish they could’ve done more, but what’s there is great! The animation is also really good, and its really cool to see these battles come to life in such a way. I’d say this anime is meant for two types of people. Long time fans who will freak out at every little homage and reference, and people who (somehow) have never heard of Pokémon and need a nice little introduction before picking up Red or Green. This may be bad for me to say, but though the anime is rushed, it’s okay because it’s Pokémon. It’s a nice little series to watch.
Final Comments: Pokemon Origins, while not real strong with plot or characters, provides an enjoyable watch for new and old fans of the Pokemon franchise. The animation and soundtrack really kick in a sense of nostalgia as well.
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